Singer and songwriter H.E.R. on investing in vegan cookie-maker Partake Foods

It’s been a big year for singer and songwriter H.E.R., who won an Academy Award this past spring for Best Original Song with “Fight For You” in Judas and the Black Messiah.

The Grammy winner’s persona has mostly been kept mysterious earlier in her career (H.E.R. is an acroynm for “Having Everything Revealed”).

But the Bay Area-native, whose legal name is Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, recently shared more with Fortune about why she chose to invest in Partake Foods, a female-founded food brand making allergen-friendly cookies, baking mixes, and pizza crusts.

All of the products are certified gluten-free, vegan, and free of the top nine allergens. Since launching in 2016, the company has raised over $7.5 million—50% of which has come from Black investors. Partake products can be found in more than 7,000 stores nationwide, including Trader Joe’s, Kroger’s, Whole Foods, and Target.

Kevin Mazur—Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Startup: Partake Foods
  • Year founded: 2016
  • Valuation: Undisclosed
  • Investment level: Over $7.5 million total (H.E.R. was part of a $5M Series A, which fully closed in January 2021.)
  • Number of employees: 16
  • Location: New York
  • Other major investors: Rihanna, John Foraker, Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital, Black Star Fund, Marcy Venture Partners (cofounded by Jay-Z), CircleUp Growth Partners, and FF 2032

Why she invested, in her own words

Today, as consumers, we are looking beyond a great product and wanting to know the company’s values. Is it inclusive and diverse? Does it care about and value cultures? What are the faces and names behind the brand? Speaking personally, I want my music to speak to the people. I also thrive on giving every person who listens to my music a sense of who I am, my experiences, and my story; that will hopefully be received as relatable and inclusive. The best brands do what they do for the people. And that’s why I’m proud to partner with Partake, and help to grow and support their business.

Not only are Partake’s products delicious, but I love the story and values behind the brand. This Black and Asian American woman-owned company seeks to push barriers, be inclusive, and be more than simply a snack on the grocery store shelf. Partake, which started as a better-for-you cookie company, has quickly broadened their mission and vision to include new products and philanthropic efforts that address childhood food insecurity and create opportunities for increased diversity in the CPG food and beverage industry.

This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.

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